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Wine Community / Vignadelmar | Published DoctorWine N°65
Sartarelli: Classic Verdiccio
by Vignadelmar 10-01-2013

Towards the middle of December I visited this lovely winery in the Marche region that produces excellent classic Verdiccio wines as well as one that is very special, Balciana.

This was not the first time I had been there and so I already new how beautiful it was, with a splendid natural amphitheater that surrounds the winery. From its balcony you can see how the surrounding hills are covered with well-ordered vineyards, occasionally broke up by small clumps of forest. If the winter's day is warm and clear, as it was when I visited, the view is quite spectacular. At eye-level to the right, towards the south and at an altitude of about 300m, is the Balciana vineyard. In front, to the left and a little below, are the vineyards that produce the Classico and Tralivio wines. Sartarelli only grows Verdicchio grapes and the wines are made in the classic style, simple and rigorous, without any use of wood.

I was met by Patrizio Chiacchiarini, the proprietor of the winery (together with his wife) and halfway through the tasting we were joined by the head winemaker, Alberto Mazzoni. A tour of the cellar and the tasting room confirms how this winery avoids any kind of superficiality. Every aspect stands out for its simplicity: the grape rules, tradition rules and only the exception is the Balciana, but we'll talk about that later. I still have a bottle of Balciana 1997, unfortunately empty, which I keep as a relic, it being one of the best Verdicchio I have ever tasted.

 
Classico 2011
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Doc
Rating » 84
Category » White
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

Everyone know that all Verdicchio wines get better as they age in the bottle. This 2011 has only been in the bottle for six months but it already expresses itself well. It would be a mistake to call it simple because this Verdicchio is an expression of the winery's philosophy. It is an extremely clean wine with a greenish color that is not too bright while the bouquet has clear scents of apple surrounded by balsamic notes. Its flavor makes it both drinkable and enjoyable. At this price you cannot expect to find anything more or better.

8 euros

 
Tralivio 2011
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Doc
Rating » 87
Category » White
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

This is thicker, meatier, I'd say denser than the Classico. Even the color is different, more yellow, a warm but not bright yellow, the result of staying on the skins for ten hours before fermentation. Its extreme youth and short time in the bottle limited its aroma spectrum but with time it will certainly get better. The flavor, on the other hand, is more developed, more complete, extremely typical and dominated by white fruit. I'm ready to bet this vintage will have a long future.

12 euros

 
Tralivio 2010
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Doc
Rating » 92
Category » White
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

This was the best wine of the tasting, a total surprise, a wine that can knock you off your chair. Tralivio is always good, it will never let you down, but this one was truly spectacular. The color is even more yellow than the previous one, it is comforting and this is also true of its flavor that is upheld by its typical and traditional Verdicchio savoriness. But what is really spectacular is its aroma which is clean, sharp with explosive scents of green apple and balsamic notes. A wine with great charm, one of the best Verdicchio I have tasted... and I've tasted a lot of them!

12 euros

 
Balciana 2010
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Doc
Rating » 90
Category » White
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

This wine takes its name from the area where its vineyard is located. It is a unique wine made from grapes harvested late, sometimes very late. There are even times when a touch botrytis bunch rot has set in, but this depends more on certain climatic conditions before the harvest. The color is lovely, the most intense of all the winery's products.

26 euros

 
Balciana 2009
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Doc
Rating » 85
Category » White
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

Even if Balciana has a common thread that links all vintages, it is never the same and is strongly influenced from the year it comes from. This 2009, for example, has a color that definitely leans towards green, an aroma that is less opulent, less fat. It is almost more like a Tralivio, with scents of ripe fruit, almond and Mediterranean brush. A very unusual yet good Balciana.

26 euros

 
Balciana 2007
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Doc
Rating » 89
Category » White
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

This is another unique vintage and a real bombshell with an alcoholic content of close to 16%. The taste is very dense, thick, warm, with notes of ripe fruit and yellow flowers. The bouquet has typical Verdicchio scents but they are less forced. An extreme version that is capable of maintaining a balance on a razor's edge between being a wine that is 'too much' or 'excessive'. This is a wine for palates that like strong and bold sensations.

30 euros

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